As a New Yorker, I’m a firm believer that the only way to survive and thrive in this city (or any other, for that matter) is to leave every opportunity you can get. Whether that’s a day at the beach or a weekend in the woods, the restorative benefits of emerging oneself in nature are scientifically proven.
What’s also proven is the internet’s unquenchable thirst for prefab architecture architecture, tiny homes, and affordable modern cabins. Lucky for you, there’s New York-based design studio Den (formerly Walden).
Based in NYC with an “outdoor lab” in the Catskills just a couple hours up the Hudson River, Den is a rooted design practice that launched selling a series of boxy cabin plans, and is now offering a new catalog of architecturally-inspired designs ranging from A-Frames to modern Barnhouse designs.
Previously we covered their flagship models. Now we’re back to drool over the many A-Frame cabins—each sized to offer (rather stylish) shelter for a night, a weekend, or a lifetime.
Though the previous business model allowed for customers to choose from cabin plans, DIY cabin kits, or full service on-site production, Den is now focused largely on simply offering inspired plans designed with affordability and ease of construction in mind. The move away from prefab favors builders and DIYers alike. That said, in late 2020 the brand released a 10' x 10' A-Frame Cabin Kit that reportedly can be assembled in just a weekend. The kit comes with everything one would need, sans tools and a willing group of friends.
With 12 basic cabin plans avaialble for $99 up to $599, plus a washroom, sauana, and three backyard office designs—and more on the way—Den is out to offer something for everyone. Highlights include a 168-sq-ft A-Frame bunkhouse, two bed, two bath barn house, and a proper 3-bedroom full family A-Frame house. For us, the weekender A-Frame is pretty dang enticing, landing at 415 square feet with plans going for $299.
The aforementioned prices get you a detailed set of plans that any skilled builder can bring to life—and most any country planning commity can approve. Den also offers "custom package" and "complete package" options for each design. The former includes CAD files and 3D designs, which is ideal if you'd like to tweak the design to fit your specific build site. The later, top-tier package includes everything Den has to offer, from plans and digital files ready to be customized to impressive customer support.
Keep in mind, these prices do not include the cost of land, nor consider site preparation, furnishings, or the cost of bribing your friends to help you build. Good news is, Den does offer a series of educational guides designed to give land and homeowners insight into the process of building a cabin of their own. The guides range from how to shop for and buy land, to a comprehensive guide on what to look for in a set of plans—and even a guide on why A-frames are so damn popular.
With every detail highly considered, from bathroom fixtures and suggested materials to wood stoves and skylights, these minimalist cabins offer a distinctly elevated approach to backcountry living not often shown by most online cabin kit providers. Den is for the serious aesthetes among us, and we couldn’t be more psyched about it.